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BLISS, Clara 1916-2010


Posted By: Volunteer
Date: 10/26/2010 at 16:02:53

Clara May Bliss, 93, died peacefully at home in Ely, MN March 9, 2010, where she had lived for the past four years with her daughter.

Clara May was born March 29, 1916, in Grundy Center, IA, to James Edwin Simms and Emma Lillian Kerr Simms in the house built by her grandfather, Daniel Kerr, an immigrant from Scotland, Civil War veteran, and two-term (1889-1893) US Congressman. She attended Grundy Center public schools where she played on her high school basketball team which competed in the state tournament.

She attended Iowa State where she met her husband, Robert (Bob) McKinley Bliss. They married December 21, 1941. Clara May followed her husband as he trained for overseas combat duty. While he was overseas, she resided in Grundy Center. In 1949, the couple settled in Des Moines where Bob taught journalism at Drake University.

Clara May was very active in many organizations: PEO (75-year member), Drake Faculty Dames, TTT, PTA, Planned Parenthood, book clubs, Questers, DAR, and Central Presbyterian Church. She was also involved in her family farm business.

She was known as a "fun grandma" and a good sport, willing to travel to visit far-flung family. Even at 86, she flew to Italy for a grandson's wedding and at 89 rode Amtrak coach from St. Paul to West Glacier, MT for a reunion. She treasured her friends, was devoted to her family, and loved to eat and entertain at Noah's Ark in Des Moines.

Clara May was preceded in death by her husband Robert and her brother Edward. She is survived by her two children, Robert McKinley Bliss, Jr. (Paulette), of St. Louis, MO and Mary Ellen Mackaman (Don), of Ely, MN, and by six grandchildren and by four young great-grandchildren who affectionately knew her as "Dommy." She was remembered fondly at a family service in Ely on March 11.

A reception will be held May 21, 2010 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, Des Moines, with a brief memorial service at 5:30. Interment will be at Rose Hill Cemetery, Grundy Center. Memorial gifts may be directed to St. Mary's Hospice and Palliative Care, East Range Team, Virginia, MN, Central Presbyterian Church, Des Moines, IA, or First Presbyterian Church, Ely, MN.


Grundy Obituaries maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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